Former Administrator’s Delight At Being Able To Enjoy Family Time And Volunteering

A woman who sustained a brain injury and was left paralysed from the waist down after she was involved in a road traffic accident has spoken out on her determination to get her life back on track.

Samantha Maguire was nearing her 30th birthday when her fiancé lost control of the van he was driving on the A835 towards Inverness in November 2015.  The van rolled twice and Samantha, who was in the passenger seat, was thrown from the vehicle.

Samantha suffered a bleed on the brain and spinal injury, and was told by doctors that she would never walk again.

She instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access vital treatment to assist with her rehabilitation so that she could get back to enjoying life.  

Samantha, who worked as a hotel administrator prior to the accident, now lives in an adapted bungalow in Inverness, thanks to interim payments secured by her legal team.  She also has an adapted car which allows her to travel as a passenger, and has access to a specialist 24-hour support team.

She said: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult, but having my own house and access to a car helps me maintain some of the independence I had before the accident.  It also allows me to visit my family which is so important.

“Coming to terms with my injuries hasn’t been easy, but my mum has been my main rock throughout it all.  Family means everything to me, and one of my happiest places is going to the park with my sister and nieces.  It is lovely to see their faces and see how much they enjoy being around me.”

Before sustaining her life-changing injuries, Samantha enjoyed an active lifestyle which included going to the gym, swimming and climbing.  Over the past few years, she has tried to maintain this by going out with her family and taking her nieces to play centres.

Samantha is not only determined to make the most of her life, but is keen to help others affected by brain injury through working and campaigning with charity Headway.  She also volunteers with Enable Scotland, mentoring others living with disabilities.

Now, Samantha is starring in Irwin Mitchell’s I Am Able campaign, which tells the stories of how people who have suffered injury and illness have been able to get their lives back on track with specialist help and support.

Samantha, who is now 34 and no longer in a relationship with her former fiancé, explained: “The driving force behind everything was wanting my life back.

“I really enjoy my charity work and volunteering from home makes me feel valued and like I have a purpose. 

“When you go through what I have, it would be so easy to just let it defeat you, but the advice I would give to anyone who has had an accident is don’t give up! You can have back the life you had.”

David Bell, the specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represents her, said: “Samantha is such an inspirational young woman and has shown a lot of courage in getting her life back following such a serious accident. 

“Through our work, we know how tough it can be for people who were once active to come to terms with severe spinal injuries, and Samantha’s determination has been incredible.

“We are proud to have helped Samantha along her road to recovery, and to know that she is helping others in similar situations is heart-warming.”